Critics’ Picks

Anna Möller, no half measure, NO scratching on the surface #1 (detail), 2012,  black coated crude steel,  engraved glass plates, 52 x 40 x 28".

Anna Möller, no half measure, NO scratching on the surface #1 (detail), 2012, black coated crude steel, engraved glass plates, 52 x 40 x 28".

Berlin

Anna Möller

Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender
Potsdamer Str. 105 through courtyard, 2 door on the right
August 31–November 17, 2012

In her current solo exhibition, Anna Möller revisits the conceptual rhetoric of light, glass, and steel through sculptural installations that operate in the gallery space like concrete poetry. At the center of her show sit three steel constructions, titled no half measure, NO scratching on the surface #1 - #3, 2012. Resembling partially assembled vitrines, the black steel structures support transparent glass plates on which handwriting is engraved. If display cases are meant to concentrate attention, the spatial arrangement of these works disperses it again. Viewers are invited to move around them and to bend over or kneel down in order to decipher the engravings on the panes that are installed at varying heights. Glass constructions reference a long history, spanning from Tatlin’s glass and steel architecture and Duchamp’s “Large Glass,” 1915–23, to (post-)Minimal and Conceptual art. Refocusing this history through the politics of seeing, Möller chooses to draw on feminist writings. The artist’s hastily scribbled notes and fragments taken from texts by authors such as Mina Loy (from whom the “no half measure” phrase—which also serves as the exhibition’s title—is drawn) are haphazardly etched on the glass surfaces. Echoing the spatial dispersion of the steel constructions, the text passages assume an objectlike quality––and the objects on view turn into material fragments of the language of display.

In opposing corners of the room, spotlights project two luminous rectangles above the edge between floor and wall. As the only sources of light, they draw the viewer’s gaze and at the same time reject it, being too bright to look at. This tension of vision and opacity is key to the artist’s investigation into the concrete materiality and conceptual structures of display practices and the politics of seeing that these spotlights involve.